Myths about QA Testing you need to know
Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - November 15, 2019
Let us begin this with some numbers depicting the necessity of QA Testing.
- An hour of downtime caused by a bug could cost enterprises more than $1-$5 million
- 48% of users are less likely to use an app more than once if they are displeased with its performance
Despite such numbers, the importance of QA testing is still underestimated. This is especially true of organizations that outsource their QA testing to third-party firms. Without a clear understanding of what QA testing is and how it actually works, it is quite possible to formulate incorrect expectations from a QA team.
Similarly, it is important for new QA engineers or those who are considering QA as a career path to know exactly what it entails. The easiest way to do this is to address the most common myths head-on.
Myth #1 – QA Testing is a simple task
This is a massive misconception. A QA engineer worth the name has an immensely difficult task to do. They must possess significant insight into software testing techniques, both manual and automated testing. They must also remain updated with major innovations in the testing landscape.
Additionally, a QA must have an eye for detail as well as great persistence, since it is their responsibility to detect the most minor bugs. The QA would also have to be knowledgeable about innovations, updates or new threats in the digital realm so that they know what bugs or anomalies to test for. Consequently, a QA can’t be good at their job unless they have a solid understanding of not just software testing, but also the development process and business requirements.
Myth #2 – QA Testing does not require a very high proficiency in coding
In most cases, testing requires proficiency in code construction. A few common testing cases that require coding would be:
- Writing complex SQL queries to validate data
- Creating test data in instances of ETL testing or data validation
- Converting code written in one DB to another for migration testing
- Write scripts for automated testing in programming languages such as Java, Python, Perl, etc.
A good QA tester must be able to craft a variety of test scrips in order to detect software errors. Similarly, they should be technically proficient enough to explain the nature of bugs or system errors to stakeholders (who may not be technical experts) and developers. This requires them to have a significant understanding of how code works.
Myth #3 – Human QA Testers will become obsolete
With AI and machine learning gaining buzzword status, it is hard not to worry about losing one’s job to a machine. But in the realm of QA testing, it is unreasonable to assume that complete automation will be possible or even desirable.
For example, one still needs human QA testers to write test scripts for automation tools to run on. Similarly, while an automated testing platform using Selenium can detect bugs, it cannot make judgments about a website’s ease of use or the quality of user experience it provides. Manual testers are required for that.
Myth #4 – QA Testing is a final stage process
As every agile developer will say, no. While it may seem more efficient to test a product after it has been fully developed, software is a tricky business. It is possible for bugs to be introduced in any stage of development. If one waits until the very end to initiate QA testing, then it is very likely that testers will be confronted with a large volume of bugs and anomalies. This is likely to take an exceptionally large amount of time to resolve.
In agile development, QA testing occurs iteratively. Every new feature or even major changes to existing features are tested for bugs at the end of each sprint. Instead of having to debug thousands of issues at one go, this process allows QAs to run tests on every part of an app as it is developed. Simultaneously, the development of new features continues. This means that when the product is finished, it will be relatively stable, bug-free and ready for quick deployment.
Myth #5 – QA Testing adds no value
It is still common among business interest holders to believe that QA testing is an expense while development is the real profit-maker. Consequently, testers and testing companies have to work much harder to justify their expenses on tools, training and relevant needs.
However, this is a completely mistaken idea. Without QA, no software can reach a usable and marketable stage. Due to the vast array of options available in the digital world, users have no patience with glitch-ridden websites or apps. Without testing, glitches could not be sufficiently detected or resolved.
In a constantly evolving digital world, every digital product must change consistently to provide consistent user experiences. For example, every time a website adds a new feature or option for users, it would need cross browser testing to ensure that the feature displays and operates correctly across multiple browsers and browser versions.
Additionally, without swift and regular testing, it would be impossible to develop and deploy changes and updates to existing software.
Such failures would lead to a significant loss of product revenue. Maintaining and improving product quality is the very cornerstone of digitally-driven business and testing is integral to accomplishing this.
By ensuring that QA testing is understood as necessary, both tech and non-tech stakeholders can shape their development projects correctly. They can see testing as the indispensable element it is, and incorporate it properly to ensure that the product is built to provide optimal user experiences.